The importance of an efficient irrigation system as a management tool for your golf course

In three bitesize webinars, Shaun Anderson from GCMA strategic partners Rain Bird reflects on the weather conditions golf courses have faced in the last 18 months, offers advice to golf clubs on how to get the best from their irrigation systems today and identifies the challenges that are coming down the track for golf clubs when it comes to water management and usage. Rain Bird are a Headline Partner of the GCMA 2023 Conference and offer all GCMA members a complimentary audit of their club's irrigation system Shaun Anderson from GCMA partner Rain Bird kicks off the first of three short webinar discussions with GCMA partnerships manager Darren Wood by reflecting on the weather we saw in 2022, and at the start of this year, identifying the trend for more extreme conditions. "Everyone fell into the same boat last year. The weather got warmer, all of a sudden surfaces become under more stress and we began to see irrigation systems creak." Shaun is keen to point out that optimising your irrigation system doesn't always mean big expenditure, explaining: "It could just be the time of your greenkeeping team to go out and do the basic things such as HAPNA." Watch now: In part two, Shaun explains the real value of an efficient irrigation system. "One of the big misconceptions around irrigation is that if you put a new irrigation system in, things are going to be green, and it's not like that whatsoever. It's to make sure that the plant is healthy, so that when it does rain, it comes back naturally and you've uniformity of coverage." Given the complexities involved, and the fact that many contractors are already booked up several years in advance, if your club is considering a new system, or a renovation or upgrade, Shaun highlights the importance of starting that conversation as soon as possible: "If you're thinking about doing it in the next five years, I would seriously consider having that conversation now to get the ball rolling." Watch now: In part three, Shaun explores the importance of communication when it comes to explaining to golfers and members why certain things are being done at times of extreme weather, as well as delivering an honest assessment of the outlook for water use in the UK: "We need to understand that, moving forwards, we are not always going to have the access to the water supply that we hoped we'd have." Currently, the majority of local authorities offer golf an exemption for using mains water, but Shaun questions how long that might last, particularly if public pressure arises during domestic hosepipe bans: "Like it or not, golf is perceived to be a water waster." "As golf courses, one way we can diffuse that situation is by trying to irrigate through the night with an automatic irrigation system." Watch now: GCMA Member Offer:If you are a full UK member of the GCMA you can request an evaluation of one of your club’s most...
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